Connecting with your customers was probably a lot easier in the past. All you had to do was to advertise in a newspaper and, once somebody noticed your offer, pick up the phone. Nowadays, there are multiple channels through which customers can engage with your company, including your website, mobile application, e-mail and phone support, various social media channels and now, there is also a chatbot. The latter has gained a lot of popularity throughout the last few years because, aside from building a recognizable brand, it is necessary to engage with your customers and provide them with a unique customer experience in order to become a competitive player on the market, regardless of the industry. By offering all of the above channels, you give your customers a choice and thus increase the chance of gaining a new order, however, there is more than one reason why your company should pay particular attention to a chatbot. What are they?
What is a chatbot
Quite literally, a chatbot is a chat robot. It is a tool which mimics your online interactions with customers and thus improves the customer experience and your online visibility. It understands written and spoken text and can both gather and provide information. There are two types of chatbots which differ in the way they are built and these are:
- Command based chatbot – which relies only on a database of replies which they match to a given question. They might provide more accurate responses, yet find it impossible to answer questions outside of the database
- Intelligent chatbot – which is powered by Artificial Intelligence and multiple natural language processing tools to actually understand the question and then match the answer. They become more and more intelligent with every question they answer as they gather and analyse given information
An interesting fact about chatbots is that, according to the Chatbot Consumer Report, over 70% of young people prefer to talk to a human customer service representative and not a chatbot. However, this number does not mean that you should quit thinking about investing in a chatbot but rather choose it wisely and acquire a chatbot based on AI which provides results comparable to those of human employees. The tool is necessary to ensure immediate responses to any given question at any time.
Benefits of a chatbot for your company
Even though chatbots may seem to be one of many quick-passing trends and marketing hypes, they will probably become one of the most vital communications channels for various industries. In general, a chatbot enables your company to:
- Automate customer support
A chatbot allows you to introduce automated answers to most frequently asked questions. It works for many industries when website visitors are curious about, for example, how much it will take to develop their software solution, but it is especially useful for e-commerce owners as customers might be interested in different sizes and models of a product you are offering, costs of shipment, the return policy in your company, etc. With chatbot on board, your website visitors no longer need to search for such information or wait for days for an e-mail response and are more likely to engage with your company.
- Build a brand
When the process of acquiring a product or a service or simply finding information on your website takes too long, most of the visitors start looking at other companies, whilst a powerful chatbot allows you to keep visitors on your website and shorten the ordering process at the same time. If your clients need a solution which requires minimum effort, a chatbot can help you stand out from the crowd and beat your competitors by providing an excellent user experience and makes engaging with your company much easier.
- Save money
Building a chatbot is not only cheaper than developing a mobile application or a website, it also turns out to be more beneficial as, according to The 2018 State of Chatbots Report, chatbots are more often associated with quick responses to both simple and complex questions, as well as with providing a 24/7 service. This one-time investment and its surprisingly low maintenance costs allow you to save money, in comparison to hiring and training human support employees, but more importantly to boost profits by gaining new customers.
- Streamline business operations
Investing in a chatbot for your company is yet another way to automate various business operations which allow your human employees to increase their productivity. Even though dealing with customer requests is not a difficult process, it often is a highly time-consuming one. With a chatbot providing 24/7 customer support, your team can easily focus on different tasks, for example completing new orders.
- Improve user experience (make engaging easier)
A chatbot is great at answering both simple and complex questions but it also streamlines the process of asking questions and gathering data. When looking for a specific service which requires further human interaction, a chatbot can easily collect and synchronise information. For example, we built a recruitment chatbot for one of the biggest staff management companies in the UK. The solution collects personal details of a candidate and helps them open an account where they can find temporary jobs matching their profiles.
TO SUM UP
Every customer has different preferences when it comes to engaging with a company. Millennials tend to use mobile applications and chatbots more often than baby boomers who contact company representatives in a more traditional way, that is via e-mail or phone. The best solution is to provide customers with access to each of these channels, which allows you to make sure every visitor quickly becomes a customer and, more importantly, a happy one. If you want to see how chatbots can improve your customer experience and boost your business, get in touch with us. Having years of experience in building tech solutions combined with AI, we will turn your idea into reality.